Climate Forecast: Hot — and then Very Hot

For those wondering why the planet hasn’t yet exceeded the 1998 El Ni±o-fueled temperature record, a new Science magazine article (subs. req’d) explains why. Basically, in addition to the steady increase in anthropogenic warming from greenhouse gases you have to add a smaller variation from climate oscillations linked to the oceans. Those oscillations have been tamping down temperatures a tad, and will keep doing so for the next couple of years, but the decade of the 2010s is going to bring a return to record-smashing temperatures:

Our system predicts that internal variability will partially offset the anthropogenic global warming signal for the next few years. However, climate will continue to warm, with at least half of the years after 2009 predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record.


They further predict the year 2014 will “be 0.30° ± 0.2°C warmer than the observed value for 2004,” which means there is a 50% chance that the warming from 2004 to 2014 will be 3/8 that of the warming of the previous century!

In short, if these projections are right (and if there are no major volcanoes to dampen temperatures), then the Denyers have a couple more years to spin their misinformation, but, after that, the accelerating nature of climate change should become painfully clear to all. And I would not be surprised if this epic multi-year heatwave drives the Arctic over the edge, leading to a drastic — if not total — reduction in summer ice by 2020.

3 Responses to Climate Forecast: Hot — and then Very Hot

  1. Paul K says:

    I’ve spent the last few days reading your entire blog from its start last August to the present. A post about Kerry Emanuel from MIT led me to this article in the Boston Review which is the best explanation of AGW for the layman I’ve found.

    In one of your first posts, you wrote: “We have the technologies available to avoid the worst of global warming.” As ClimateProgress enters its second year, would you consider a greater emphasis on technologies and efficiencies – perhaps, a page dedicated to practical micro and macro solutions.

    About trees. You recently pointed out the ineffectiveness of trees as a carbon offset. Yesterday, I rented a car from Enterprise and got a brochure touting their offset program to plant 15 million trees. I had to bite my tongue, aware that the young rental agent isn’t in charge of company carbon policy. I wonder how many solar PV cells could be provided to schools or hospitals for the cost of the tree program. Of course, if all those trees were planted in cities, it’s a different story. I’ll quote another of your previous posts. “A program to cool cities with shade trees (and light-colored roofs) is not only a low-cost way to mitigate global warming, it is a very cost-effective way to adapt to global warming, since it lowers urban temperatures.”

  2. Joe says:

    The entire blog! You deserve a prize. I wondered who was driving up my “average visit duration” stats. I do plan to blog more on solutions — but I keep getting sidetracked debunking all the bad information out there. I’m hoping to add some columnists on some of the solutions. More on that shortly.

    Do read “The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity” for the best book on the technologies (though I’d urge you to read my book for in-depth discussions on efficiency).

  3. Tim says:

    I think EcoGeek is covering all the mitigation technologies and innovations well. Perhaps aggregate some of their posts?

    Or re-package, and/or add some other stuff.

    An awesome blog, I’m using a lot of your posts over at my blog, (sustainable snowboarding).

    Cheers for the hard work

    Tim Marsh
    Heresy Snowboarding